I started with Bridge a little more than 3 years ago. I was right out of college and the job sort of fell in my lap. An acquaintance posted on her Facebook wall that her company was hiring sales people (I had done sales my whole life), and when I asked her about it, she said it was an international language and education company, (my degree was in International Studies). It was the perfect match. Just a few weeks after applying, I was sitting behind a desk in the Bridge admin office.

Though I started in a different division, I quickly came to work for Bridge’s TEFL division and I’ve been here for about 3 years. I never taught abroad so I had a lot of learning to do. Now I consider myself an expert on TEFL!

My last day with Bridge will be August 30th, which makes this the last blog post I’ll write for the TEFL Insider. I figure it might be helpful for others if I offered the most important things I learned about TEFL in my time here.

1. All kinds of people want to TEFL. You might be right out college and itching to go abroad, or you might be considering living overseas after you retire, or even sick of your 9-5 job and dreaming of faraway lands. Whatever your situation, I can assure you that you are not alone. I’ve spoken to hundreds of people interested in teaching English abroad that were exactly where you are now.

2. All kinds of people can and do TEFL. You may think you’re too old, or you don’t have all the right qualifications, or you don’t have the right experiences. Doesn’t matter. You can teach English abroad. There’s a place in the world for you.

3. It’s not all about the money. Teaching English doesn’t always pay very well, at least monetarily. How TEFL pays you is with adventure and experience. It pays you with the opportunity to live abroad, to absorb a new culture, and to discover things about yourself that you would simply never discover at home. It’s a unique kind of wealth, but I think it’s just as important as that money stuff.

4. Don’t overthink getting certified. By this, I mean that most of the people I talk to are doing far more research than they have to.  Any training you get is just to bolster your resume. So don’t get hung up on which one is better or the differences between them; there’s no right or wrong answer. Don’t overthink it and absolutely do not let your fear of choosing the wrong one let you talk yourself out of teaching abroad at all. That’s the only mistake you could make.

Whoever you are, I hope this information has been helpful and I wish you the best of luck in your future role as a TEFL teacher!